The military situation today: when will the war in Ukraine end? Two opposite scenarios

Of Andrea Marinelli and Guido Olimpio

How is the invasion really going? And when could the war end? Analysts are divided into two schools of thought: the critics (convinced that Moscow was wrong across the board) and the realists (according to which Putin is deliberately adopting the boa tactic)

Oleksiy Arestovichadvisor to the Ukrainian president, made his prediction: the war will end by May, perhaps even earlier, because Russia will no longer have the resources to continue it. The timing will depend on how much Moscow is willing to commit: either there will be a quick peace agreement, in one or two weeks, with the withdrawal of the troops, or they will try again with the Syrians and, when we reject them too, there will be an agreement. Maybe at the end of April.

the premise of a politician in the midst of a huge crisis, with propaganda campaigns and effective phrases, to convey messages, cement the group, convince the brothers to fight. The reality, then, can be radically differenteven if the law of the most powerful still counts, especially when there is such an evident disproportion of forces.

At the moment there are two schools of thought among analystssometimes mixed with considerations influenced by what is seen or by studies of military doctrine.

The latest news on the war in Ukraine

The critics

Critics believe that Putin was wrong across the board. A former Australian general synthesized the sequence. The tsar had conceived plan A: lightning conquest, Zelensky neutralized, country falling into his arms. It didn’t happen, so here it is plan B: military thrust on several axes, light air force intervention, reduced bombing. Huge logistical problems emerged, the resistance caused losses, the advance stalled, the troops did not appear well prepared, serious coordination shortcomings. NATO arms supplies have energized the Ukrainians, ready for a long battle.

At this point the Kremlin switched to floor Cthe most usual and appropriate to the Army: heavy cannon fire – over 900 missiles in 20 days – even on inhabited centers, robust offensive, involvement of other units, greater use of fighters without being able to have superiority. The anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles have in fact proved lethal in the hands of the Ukrainian nuclei, better trained – by the US – than their opponents. After 20 days, the great war device failed to surround Kiev, conquered a few locations, lost 4 generals and several thousand soldiers. Among these not only newbies, but many par and members of special forces such as the spetsnaz, personnel who do not replace in a few months: according to analysts’ counts, 12 commanders were even killed in battlea sign of combativeness but also of the unreliability of the front lines.

According to the Pentagon, the Russians would by now have employed 100% of the forces deployed along the Ukrainian border190,000 men, although more conservative estimates believe it to be 75% more likely: in battle they would have anyway lost 6-7% of the troops. For this reason, critics always believe that in the long run the neo-tsar will not be able to impose control over him. They add that the Army does not have sufficient resources to go as far west and if it does it exposes its lines of communication to attacks: constant bleedingeven more serious if the allied supply chain – important today – remains constant. Then there is another consideration: Putin has a second goal, to prove that he has a power equal to that of NATO. And here we can say that he has failed: the Alliance’s reaction, combined with the economic measures, surprised him. In a few days he has given NATO a compactness never seen before.

The realists

A pool of experts calls for realism, invites us not to be distracted by the tactical – and media – successes of the resistance. Moscow, they argue, wants to pulverize Ukrainian territory in divided entitiesaims to create a buffer zone towards NATO, pushes part of the population to flee to the West, aims to transform Odessa (once taken) into a large fortress, intends to cause heavy damage in the western part. the tactic of the boa, which gradually envelops and suffocates. First the land, then who inside. The stalled advance to the north and the siege of Kiev appear distant, but in the south the Russians are pushing on three axes in an attempt to surround the Ukrainian regulars. The defenders will have to choose whether to stay in the bag or leave the southern areas. AND if there is a withdrawal, a partition is actually created.

In the conflict – underlines the British Rusi institute – there are two centers of gravity: the capital and the demilitarization of Ukraine. The second target could be achieved by Moscow together with a conquest of the coastal strip. The Russians are likely to involve Syrian mercenaries and Wagner mercenaries in the future to do the dirty work, helping the army in the normalization process. As for the Ukrainians, their defense has greater possibilities if it combines conventional and guerrilla actions: if he loses the first, he can continue but with less effectiveness. And then there is the humanitarian, social and economic disaster. Which will also affect Europe.

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